UW-CTRI launched its research study, Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health (BREATHE), January 20, 2015 at the Dean Health Care clinic in Janesville and the Aurora Health Care clinic at Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee.
Under the BREATHE project, any smoker who visited a participating clinic, regardless of the initial reason for the visit, was invited to get treatment through BREATHE. One goal of this study has been to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system that increases smokers’ recruitment into treatment. Another goal has been to establish a highly effective chronic-care treatment with intervention components for all smokers.
The EHR system was implemented in 18 clinics in two health-care systems and evaluated on its ability to increase the recruitment of smokers into chronic-care treatment (Project 1).
Then, using highly efficient research methods, researchers will compare multiple intervention components and identify especially-effective interventions for every phase of smoking treatment. This package of components has been designed to: increase quitting motivation amongst smokers initially unwilling to quit and prepare them for cessation (Project 2), enhance quitting success and prevent relapse when smokers are ready to quit (Project 3), and re-engage relapsed smokers in treatment and restore their abstinence (Project 4). See Figure 1 for illustration.
These highly integrated research projects, supported by four cores, have formed a powerful new EHR strategy to efficiently recruit primary care patients who smoke into chronic-care treatment.
Partners in this research have included colleagues from Penn State University and the University of Illinois-Chicago, as well as Aurora Health Care, Dean Health System, and Epic. The BREATHE team has unique strengths in: smoking treatment research in healthcare settings, established collaborations with EHR vendors and primary care clinics, and research methods. This research has simultaneously advanced both smoking treatment and treatment research methods. It has been funded by a $12 million grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.